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CAIRO, Ill. (AP) - Residents of a southern Illinois town are remembering two area women stabbed to death during a botched bank robbery.

A local Baptist pastor in Cairo tells the (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan that Anita J. Grace and Nita J. Smith "won't be forgotten." Jimmy Ellis adds "the best parts of them will live on with each one of us."

RELATED: Cairo bank robbery murder victims identified

Authorities have charged 29-year-old James Watts in Thursday's holdup at a First National Bank branch.

Cairo resident Joe Griggs knew both Smith and Grace. He says "you'd have to go a long way to find a better soul than those two people."

PREVIOUS STORY: Two bank employees killed, another injured in southern Illinois heist

Ellis says the killings are an aberration for an otherwise caring community of 2,600 residents. He says the suspect "is not a representation of what our community is about."

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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